Ellis Island
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Ellis Island Viewing Points

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

2. NYC: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island First Tour of the Day

Be the first of the day to discover two of New York’s most iconic monuments with exclusive first ferry tour departure to Liberty Island, including a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island. Watch American history come to life with the only tour operator that runs ferries this early. Arrive at the grounds just under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty, where great views across NYC's skyline, Lower Manhattan, and the Big Apple await. Then, board the city's earliest ferry to Ellis Island (early morning tour only), ensuring you avoid the swelling afternoon crowds. Follow in the footsteps of some 12 million immigrants and learn about the process those hopeful individuals went through to settle in America. View and walk the Stairs of Separation, growing to understand the Island's two very unique names - "The Island of Hope" and "The Island of Tears". After your guide has explained to you the history, they will give you the option to continue your exploration of Ellis Island on your own with the audio guide (included) or return to The Battery on the ferry with them. If you wish, feel free to stay on Ellis Island a bit longer to explore your personal heritage and find all the unique and interesting sights in the special location.

NYC: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour with Ferry

3. NYC: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour with Ferry

Embark on an inspiring and educational journey to one of the most iconic monuments in the world, the Statue of Liberty. Your tour begins with a guided orientation at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, where you will learn about the history of the neighborhood and the War of 1812. Next, enjoy priority boarding onto the ferry to Liberty Island. As you cross the New York Harbor, see the beautiful downtown Manhattan skyline behind you and snap photos of Lady Liberty from the water. Once at Liberty Island, freely explore the island and the Statue of Liberty Museum. Once finished at Liberty Island, hop back on the ferry to the infamous Ellis Island, known as the Gateway to America. Here, you are free to visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and learn about how newly arriving immigrants were processed. All options include ferry service from Battery Park, Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and back to Battery Park. Both the 2-hour and 4-hour tour options include a guided experience of Liberty Island packed with historical facts about the statue. On the 4-hour tour, enjoy an additional guided orientation of Ellis Island.

NYC: Macy's July 4th Fireworks Party Cruise from New Jersey

4. NYC: Macy's July 4th Fireworks Party Cruise from New Jersey

Celebrate Independence Day New York style on a 2-story boat cruise with an outdoor deck area. Admire views of Manhattan’s skyline and landmarks being lit up by Macy’s annual 4th of July fireworks. Enjoy a buffet dinner with an open bar, a live DJ, dancing, and toys for children. Departing from Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City on the Hudson River, take in unparalleled views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty, and One World Observatory from the water. See Liberty State Park, Jersey City, Hoboken, Staten Island, and the Manhattan Skyline. Once on the East River, spot the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, City Hall, the Woolworth Building, South Street Seaport, the Lower Manhattan Skyline, the Empire State Building, and Wall Street. Enjoy the live DJ with dancing on the outdoor deck as you make your way to your front-row seats to the Macy’s fireworks display. Experience the largest fireworks show in the United States from the water. During the cruise and before the fireworks (which usually start around 9 PM), snack on appetizers and food from the buffet stations. There is also an open bar featuring mixed drinks, beer, wine, juices, and sodas, as well as coffee, tea, and water. Once the fireworks display is over, the boat will make its way back to the meeting point.Menu (may be subject to change): • Assorted appetizers• Taco station• Pasta station• Sliders (burgers and chicken)• Sausage station• Vegetarian station• 4th of July inspired dessert station

NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and 9/11 Memorial Tour

5. NYC: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and 9/11 Memorial Tour

Visit over 12 top downtown NYC attractions with this special access ticket and tour. Save time and see more: Statue of Liberty, Museum Access, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, Charging Bull, Federal Hall, Federal Reserve Bank, Trinity Church, Fearless Girl, and more. Meet your guide in the Financial District to learn about the history of NYC, the early Dutch settlement and how it transformed to the financial capital today. As you walk along Wall Street, you’ll see the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank and other financial and historical institutions. Next stop is the 9/11 National Memorial where you’ll see the enormous reflecting pools, the largest man-made fountains. You’ll hear stories of the events, tragedy and heroism of that day. The guide will take you directly to the Reserve ticket line where you will get priority boarding to the ferry that will take you to Liberty Island. Before sending on your way to Liberty Island, your guide will tell you the key things to check out on Liberty and Ellis Island as well as share the amazing stories of America immigration and the story behind the Statue of Liberty. It is a better experience to explore the Liberty and Ellis Island at your own pace after you are given the history and the key sites to check out. You decide where you’d like to spend more time – whether it is to learn the history and construction of the Statue, admire the views of NYC or look for your ancestors’ names on Ellis Island. As you sail to the island you’ll see the amazing NYC skyline. Get those cameras ready for amazing views of Lady Liberty and NYC. Once on Liberty Island, there are handheld audio guide (available in 9 different languages) you can use while exploring the islands and museums. 8:45: Meet expert guide outside the fence of 24 Broad Street 9:00: Guided tour of Wall Street and the Financial District 10:00: Guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial 11:00: Board Statue Cruises ferry for Liberty and Ellis Island -  Audio Guide available on Liberty Island

New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Guided Tour

6. New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Guided Tour

Take a ferry and see two of New York's iconic islands: Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty and learn the history behind the statue and how it came to be on Liberty Island. The tour includes priority, reserved access to the islands; a professional, licensed NYC tour guide who will guide you through both islands; and access to the Statue of Liberty Museum and the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island. On Ellis Island, you will learn about the journey of the millions of immigrants who passed through the island from 1892-1924, arriving in America, in search of a better life. Due to site regulations, your guide might not be able to accompany you inside the museums. However, they will offer a complete explanation of what you will experience inside.

Sailing Tour New York with Brooklyn Sail

7. Sailing Tour New York with Brooklyn Sail

Experience the magic of NYC from the water on this sailing cruise from Brooklyn. Feel free to bring your own food and drinks. Capture pictures of iconic sights like the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.  Meet your captain and begin your sailing adventure. Get up close to sights like Governors Island and the towering Statue of Liberty. View the immense Brooklyn Bridge from the water. See a piece of history as you pass by Ellis Island. Take in views of the World Trade Center.  Celebrate a birthday or anniversary, make a memorable proposal, build a tighter work team, or make a regular day special with an NYC cruise. Return to your meeting point at the end of your cruise. 

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour

8. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour

This 3-hour guided tour runs daily and it includes entrance fees, a professional art historian guide and private and small group tour options. The tour begins at Battery Park, one of the oldest parts of Manhattan. Here you’ll find the country’s first immigration center, Castle Garden Immigration Station, which operated until Ellis Island opened. Take a ferry to visit Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty keeps an eye on incoming ships. Visit the statue at your own pass. Before, you will learn all about Fort Wood, which now acts as the base for the statue, offered to the US by France in 1886. Hear all about its creator, Bartholdi, as well as contributions by famed architect Gustave Eiffel, of Tower fame. Another ferry will whisk you across the water to Ellis Island. Here, millions of European newcomers wandered the very luggage rooms and registry rooms that you will enter, learning about the medical examines and surprising conditions faced by immigrants. Feel the fear at the separation stairs or the elation at the kissing post where families’ lives changed forever. You’ll end your tour at the Wall of Honor, where you can search for your family’s name among the some 700,000 names commemorating those who entered the United States here. This tour is the ideal way to remember, and celebrate, the immigrants that contributed so much to America’s success.

Frequently asked questions about Ellis Island Viewing Points

What are other things to do than Ellis Island Viewing Points that are worth visiting in New York City?

The other unmissable things to do in New York City are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Ellis Island

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What people are saying about Ellis Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 4,605 reviews

Davidson, I'd like to give you a great review but don't see the link... GUIDE was very knowledgeable and clearly explained history and tidbits along the way. Pointing out things I would have never known or seen had I not taken your tour. I also appreciate your annunciation and voice projection in a loud busy city like NY.

What a great way to start the day in Manhattan! Super chance to be on the day's first ferry and to have the support and experience of Sara, a great storyteller and guide! Highly recommended!

Ian is a wonderful host. Respectful, caring, great story teller. The route was well designed to showcase nyc sights. It’s been truly amazing day.

Our guide was waiting for us where and when promised. Check-in was smooth and easy. Tour started on time.

Was a really good trip enjoyed very much great photo opportunities